Finnish telco Elisa has offered up another tech demo that showcases some of the features users can expect when 5G Advanced eventually arrives on the scene.

Nick Wood

February 21, 2024

3 Min Read
5G

In partnership with fellow Finn Nokia, Elisa has carried out a demonstration of Low Latency, Low Loss, Scalable Throughput (L4S).

A quick reminder about L4S: It's a means of identifying and labelling data packets that have fallen victim to congestion, enabling networks and applications to quickly adjust the amount of data they send across the network and the route taken, thereby tackling the congestion before the problem gets out of hand and things stop working.

It was specced out by the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF), and adopted by 3GPP for inclusion in Release 18 (Rel-18), its first 5G-Advanced standard.

Any use case that requires a low latency connection – from streaming and extended reality (XR), to remotely-controlled machines – stands to benefit from L4S.

In its demo, Elisa and Nokia used two smartphones, one with L4S capability, the other without, to highlight the difference this new tech can make.

Both were connected to a congested 5G standalone (SA) network at the Nokia Arena in Tampere, and proceeded to stream live footage. As expected, the non-L4S device struggled from the get-go, while the L4S device had no such trouble.

In addition to Nokia, Elisa also worked with streaming company Kepit Systems, and AR/metaverse technology specialist Immersal.

"5G Advanced will usher in a host of incredible features that will elevate the 5G network to its fullest and richest capabilities. The L4S feature is really just beginning of what will be possible but will enhance the experience of people at crowded events streaming content," said Ari Kynäslahti, head of strategy and technology at Nokia Mobile Networks.

"Elisa is a pioneer in introducing cutting edge technology to enhance the experience of our customers," added Elisa CTO Kalle Lehtinen. "In this successful trial with Nokia, we have demonstrated how we are continuing to push the boundaries of our 5G network and deliver scalable, premium services."

Indeed, when it comes to the 5G tech demos, Elisa has been on a bit of charge lately.

Earlier this month, in partnership with Ericsson, it conducted a live test on uplink carrier aggregation (CA) on its commercial 5G SA network, reaching a peak speed of 230 Mbps.

Like L4S, addressing uplink throughput with innovations like CA and advanced antenna systems (AASs) is one of the objectives detailed in Rel-18, and is all part of this concerted effort to improve the performance of real-time services.

Elisa together with Ericsson has also added in-service software upgrade (ISSU) capability to its live 5G SA network – enabling it to upgrade core network services without any downtime – and with Nokia it has also trialled in-line acceleration on cloud RAN architecture.

Meanwhile, Elisa has been among the 5G SA vanguard, rolling it out in both Estonia and Finland, where its network covers 92% of the population.

Earlier this month it launched its first 5G SA phone subscriptions to Finnish consumers; business customers will have to wait until the spring. It has even launched 5G network slicing to improve the performance of its fixed-wireless access (FWA) service.

Last month, Juniper Research singled out 5G-Advanced as one of the technologies that it thinks will help to grow global 5G service revenues by 32 percent to $400 billion this year.

Given its enthusiastic deployment of the latest 5G tech, Elisa is in a better position than a lot of other, bigger operators to capitalise on this growth.

About the Author(s)

Nick Wood

Nick is a freelancer who has covered the global telecoms industry for more than 15 years. Areas of expertise include operator strategies; M&As; and emerging technologies, among others. As a freelancer, Nick has contributed news and features for many well-known industry publications. Before that, he wrote daily news and regular features as deputy editor of Total Telecom. He has a first-class honours degree in journalism from the University of Westminster.

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